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arctictropical

Uncovering outdoor palms, zone 4 (pics attached)

arctictropical
14 years ago

Finally decided to uncover the palms for the first time since last October. As always, seem to be in perfect condition. Winter protection of the tallest palm is also attached.



Comments (30)

  • denninmi
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, very nice.

    Is the shortest palm a Sabal? It doesn't look like a Trachy to me, because it has large spines on the petioles?

    Off topic, but what a gorgeous view? What is the mountain range in the background? The Wasatch?

    Finally, last question -- how are you heating the structures in the winter, and do you have any estimates of the cost to heat them?

    Dennis
    SE Michigan

  • arctictropical
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Dennis. I should have included a picture of the shortest palm after I cut the twine away that holds the fronds together under the box. This is a Mediterranean fan palm that has been outside approx. 15 years. I planted it outside when it was a one gallon potted plant. I heat the boxes with 2-3 screw-in flourescent light bulbs. The styrofoam boxes really hold the heat in that these bulbs give off. Here's a picture of the palm without the twine.

  • arctictropical
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Dennis, I forget to mention that the mountain range in one of the pictures is called the "Wellsville Mountain Range". It is named after the town that is located at the south end of it's base. It is located about 75 miles north of Salt Lake City, near Logan, Utah. Supposedly, it is one of the steepest mountain ranges in the world, considering the vertical rise from it's base to the top.

  • jimhardy
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Well done! I really love seeing palms with snow covered mountains in the background-

  • mnpalms
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    That's simply awesome! Those trachys look great after about 5 months in the box. I am a little curious about your box(s). I have seen in other posts of yours, you use compact flourescent bulbs for heat in the box. Do you keep the light on all winter, 24/7 when the temps warrant it? With the light(s) off, it is dark in your box(s) then, no clear plastic over the top for natural light? The reason I ask, is some plants I have kept indoors at my business seem to hate 24-hour flourescent light. I have only had experience with the Christmas light method with a trachy, and I wonder if the good light from the CFL bulbs helps your trees to look as good as they do when they come out of hibernation. I wasn't sure if trachys like 24-hour light. I just might be borrowing some of your methods this fall...

    Trachy(s) and needle palms in ground
    Adding musa basjoos this season

    In SE Minnesota (SE twin cities)

    Zone 4 1/2'ish (a bit of a favorable microclimate here)

  • nucci60
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Always love to see the results you get with your palm protection method.I was just wondering how much heat could 3 compact flourescents put out in enclosures that large. They barely put out any heat at all.

  • denninmi
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for your responses, Arctictropical.

    I'm surprised that the one palm is a European Fan, only because the fronds look to "sturdy" to me -- the European Fans I've had (three or four of them over the years) have always had more whispy fronds, I guess just as a result of being younger. I've never seen one as mature as yours in person. Neat.

    Have any of your palms ever bloomed for you?

    I remember from a previous discussion of your winter protection method a while back, your climate is colder than mine. I'm so inspired by what you're doing, because I'm getting really sick of hauling my increasingly bigger plants in and out.

    I just have to pick a spot in my yard, a protection method, and do it.

    I have all of these goofy ideas, including:

    1) Planting them in the ground beds in my underutilized lexan greenhouse, and just throwing the winter foam covering and lights on them in November. The doors and windows can stay open all summer so they don't cook too much. I've grown other stuff in there all summer, works fine except for bugs (always need to spray in greenhouses, because the rain doesn't knock down the bug populations).

    2) Just making structures like you have there. I would think that size of the structure would be important, smaller is probably better, because it holds the heat. Too big, and it wouldn't be effective.

    3) I've also been toying with the sunken garden/greenhouse idea (I posted about this a couple of weeks ago). This would work, too, but it would be a major undertaking, and I don't know if I'm up to that right now.

    Anyway, WHAT kind of response do you get from people going by and seeing your palms growing. I know they have some palms in St. George area of Utah, but no where else in the state. It must freak people out! Cool.

    Dennis
    SE Michigan

  • serj_ukraine
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Arctictropical, your palms are looking great! All palmoholics at Ukraine are amazing by your palms! Take my best congratulations!

    Excuse me, my english so far from perfection because i speak ukranian and russian.

  • fr8train
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hello arctictropical

    I see you got a digi cam :) All your palms look great as always. I'm surprised that your med hasn't suckered at its base, but personally I like the way yours looks more. Did you get any shots of your butia's?

    I also uncovered my palms for good a few days ago, but unfortunately I heard we might get snow again Tuesday night, so I may have to throw something over them again one more time ):

  • tnwindmill
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Unbelievable looking specimens, especially in your zone!
    I'd love to know the details of your winterizing techniques. I have two 5' Trachys in a 5'x20' planter by my pool I just planted. I have been researching the best winterizing methods so the first frost doesn't sneak up on me this fall. I never thought about tying up the fronds b/c of risk of damaging them, but judging by your pics that's not an issue. What are your structures made of? My zone has plenty of cold snaps of 10-30 degrees for a day or two, but, for the most part we stay above 25 or so for the winter. Do you have a removable top on your structure? I'd love to know the details of your process, b/c it seems as successful as anything I've seen.
    Thanks.
    tnwindmill

  • palmloverny
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Positively stunning! There's a lot of love (and work) in those palms, they look beautiful. I'm quite jealous!

  • dln949
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    arctictropical, your results look great. I have to share with you, I tried the styrofoam box method on our palm trees this past winter. It worked great, and was quite cheap to keep the palms warm. HOWEVER - If you don't have a tractor or something, assembling the box is a MAJOR pain in the.... petiole! I have found that it just is not practical, I don't have a machine to lift the box into place. I did have five separate panels, but they are darn heavy and unwieldy. I'm going to have to investigate the mummy wrapping technique, I need to find some method that I can do on my own while in my 50s and 60s.

    mnpalms: May I ask where you live? We are in Rochester. We have about a 7' trachy, and a sabal minor, both in the ground all year. We also have cactuses, agave, bamboo, and banana in the ground all year. The cactuses and agave get no protection at all and do great.

  • mnpalms
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    dln949- We are in SE Burnsville, not too far from the river. It seems that we never get the lowest temps where we are at, compared with what is experienced at the airport officially, and elsewhere in the cities. I've tracked it for years, and honestly we have not seen a temp below -15 to -20f in about 15 years (in our yard anyway). I swear we must be in a lucky spot, that's why I call our zone "4 1/2". Also, something I see as a real benefit temp-wise are the areas I plant these plants/trees. We have a 20X38 inground pool. We only drain a few feet of water and cover it in the fall, and there is unfrozen water under the ice all winter. The planters are at 3 of the 4 corners of the pool, flush with the concrete patio that surrounds the pool. With unfrozen water only feet away from the roots, along with being near/under concrete, I think that is a secret to success. As you probably realize, the pool is a very attractive place for these type of plants. I also bring out a bunch of potted palms and other plants to summer near the pool. My favorite is the 6-foot Christmas palm (veitchia merrillii)

    I'd love to see pictures of your trachy and the others! I am glad to see a fellow Minnesotan with the bug for outdoor tropicals. I'm adding several plants to the yard this year, including basjoos and another bigger needle palm I have coming, a 2 1/2 footer, as well as another trachie (probably). I hate to put in all this new stuff, then either have to leave it, or try to dig it up. We had been wanting to upgrade homes, but it looks like we might wait another year or two at this point. I'll try to figure out how to post pictures here, just have to take some up to date ones first...

  • mnpalms
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "We are in SE Burnsville, not too far from the river."

    Correction: We are in NE Burnsville (Northeast), not SE. SE twin cities metro, SE Minnesota in general, though not as far SE as Rochester. Sorry for the confusion! I knew I should have had that second cup of coffee...

  • arctictropical
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sorry for the delay in replying. I hope I answer all questions! I leave the 3 flourescent lights on 24/7, all winter long, actually from October through April. The boxes are made of 2 inch thick blueboard (styrofoam) and regular pine, painted and covered with plastic. I used to have tops on the boxes with a clear plastic panel, but this was not energy effecient, so replaced them with solid styrofoam panels covered by plywood. Believe it or not, since the styrofoam is such a good insulator, whenever I have tilted back my shortest box (4' x 4') over the pindo since I don't need a tractor loader for it, I am always hit by a blast of very warm humid air. When I started this system about 16 years ago, we had one winter of -40 F., and the palms were just fine when I uncovered them in the Spring.

    The cost to use this system is minimal. I don't believe my electric bill goes up more than $10 per month, and I'm running 14 light bulbs total (4 lights in the tallest box and one light in a small box for a banana.) The other three boxes have 3 bulbs each.

    I have two Med palms, one trachy and one pindo. They all bloom every year but the pindo, since it is the youngest. The Med palms do sucker, but I remove them in order to give strength to the main trunk. I have not removed the other box from the Med. palm yet but will do so today. It is a slightly different variety 'cause the fronds are more bluish in color and the trunk is yellow instead of the reddish color. It also has a taller trunk.

    Apparently they do just fine under the artificial lights that are left on 24/7. Sometimes I get some outside fronds that get a little mold (probably from dripping water), but other than that, they look just as good in the Spring as in the Fall when I cover the boxes. I will attach pictures of the other two in a day or so.

  • arctictropical
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I forgot to mention, I live six miles southwest of Logan, Utah in the bottom of a valley where all the cold air seeps to during the entire year. We can be at least 10 degrees colder than Logan, so I've experienced winters of -45 F. and -40 F. before, although these temperatures only hit us every 15-20 years. Typical winters get down to -20 to -35 F. This year was a good one. Only got down to -7 F. We cool off at night during the summer so that we can be 15-20 degrees cooler at night in the summer than Salt Lake City. Apparently the palms don't mind the cool weather. In fact, my trachy looks a lot healthier than a lot of trachys I see in the hot desert climates like Las Vegas and southern California.

  • serj_ukraine
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Arctictropical, would your mind to put some pics of pindo? I would like to see it!

  • arctictropical
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Serj, nice of you to join us from the Ukraine! Do you have palms at your home? Hopefully I will add a couple more pictures this evening, including the Pindo.

    Dennis, you asked if people get freaked out by the palms. YES! I've have more than one car drive by that screeched to a halt. I hear lots of suprised comments from people all the time if their car windows are rolled down. Some are so shocked, their comments are hilarious. The local newspaper did a front page picture/story a year and 1/2 ago. This year a summer garden club will be stopping by in June. There's always someone talking about the palms. My wife is totally embarrassed by the tall white boxes in winter, but my 18 year old son loves the look of the palms, bananas, cannas, hibiscus and other tropicals. Next best thing to being in the Caribbean, Hawaii, or some other tropical paradise.

  • serj_ukraine
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you, arctictropical! I have more than two hundred palms such as butia capitata, brahea armata, needle palm, mazari palm, tr. fortunei and wagnerianus, sabal minor, copernicia alba, sabal maritima, alexandrae palm, CDIP. Also i have yukka rigida and macrozamia. My tr. fortunei was survived last winter without any damage. I do not use any extra heat. Now this palm has two new spears!

  • dln949
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    mnpalms, I'm interested in the details of how you protected your trachy over the winter. I used a variation of the styrofoam box method that arctictropical has described, with just a couple light bulbs plugged into a cheap plug-in thermostat that turned the lights on at about 38 and off at about 50.

    If you don't mind, will you say where you are getting the larger sized basjoos and needle palm from? I don't think our basjoo is coming back this spring, it isn't looking good.

    I don't have any current photos, here is a link to a photo from 2008:

    (I'd like to communicate more in depth with you, but I don't know how to give you my email address without making it known to the entire internet galaxy.)

    dln949

  • arctictropical
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here are pictures of the other two palms. I just uncovered the following Med palm today. It is a female. The Med palm at the beginning of the post is male. The second palm picture here is just a baby, a pindo palm that has been outside for 3 years. I purchased all of my palms as one gallon container size palms.

  • mnpalms
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    arctictropical- Keep the info and pics flowing! You are truly an inspiration here. Awesome job!

    dln949- I overwintered a smaller 4' trachy (unfortunately it is no longer with us) using a pre-molded styrofoam box, and small string of mini outdoor Christmas lights. I gently tied up the fronds so it would fit in the box. I did get it through one winter, and it was not the cold that killed it. My fault, I didn't take enough care in planting it originally, and it rotted. It didn't drain well enough (I think). It was a small enough tree that I was able to use a box similar to a large styro beverage cooler, 2 bricks on top to hold it down. Very much like I cover my rose bushes, just that the string of lights is in there. Easy and cheap, it was. The newer trachy is taller (5 1/2 feet) but still a bit lanky. Was a 50% shade grown tree. It only has about 2 feet of trunk, it is 6" in diameter at the thickest point. This tree has not been wintered outside here yet. It has been in ground a couple weeks at this point. I'm hoping to get it to thicken up nicely this summer, it is in a 75% full sun spot.

    I did receive a new needle palm. It is in a pot at the moment, until I find the time to get it in the ground near the trachy, in the same garden/planter. This needle is just shy of 3 feet tall, and it has a very nice thick trunk already. I'd say the trunk is 8" high, and at least 6 inches in diameter. I'm very pleased with it, believe it or not it looks a lot like a 5-gallon trachy. It has a lot of nice big fans, and even suckers. If it wasn't for the needly trunk, you would never tell it apart from a trachy! I have a 3-gal 2 foot trachie next to it at the moment, it is very interesting to compare them. I paid $40 plus shipping, so $60 total for the needle. I bought it from Ryan at Collector Palms, not off of Ebay though, through his own site. He has some very tempting, large yuccas too... Also back to trachys, I saw the ones on Ebay for less than $10. I thought what the heck, I thought I would try my luck. I paid $7.49 plus $15 shipping for a 3 gallon. I was very pleased, it is over 2 feet tall, actually has about 8" of woody trunk already. What a steal. Nice and full, healthy, and tons of fronds. Those on Ebay right now are well worth looking into. I might just have to pick up a few more, especially at that price.

    I bought the basjoos from a lady in NC, via her Ebay store. She is very helpful and nice, she is shipping me a total of 4 plants, all 2+ feet tall already. They should arrive tomorrow. Under $20 a plant including Priority Mail shipping. Ebay seller: mgmg9495. I'd email her (Martha), she said she does have more to sell. I'll try to get some good pictures of all these plants, both the ones in ground, and the ones in pots, and post them here.

    Based on experience, and reading about what others here do for winterization of their trachys, I am putting together a good plan for this winter. I know it is early, but it is a good idea to have a plan! We can discuss further when we can get the email thing figured out. My thinking so far is a lightweight version of what acrtictropical does. Build a square frame with 2x2 pine (it's really 1.5x1.5), square about 2'x2', then run 4 more up which will be the corners, then another square frame at the top. Basically a 6-foot tall (in my case) frame built from 2x2s. That is not very heavy at all. Use foam board insulation for walls and roof, caulked in. 2 CFL bulbs inside box, and a remote thermometer, and/or thermostat. Easy, cheap to build, cheap to maintain. Use screws to construct the frame, not nails. Also, possibly extend the 2x2s at the bottom frame about a foot beyond the corners, that way there will be anchor spots. Something to place something heavy on, maybe large bricks, to hold it in place until the snow really secures it. I'll winter the big needle palm just like I did the smaller trachy that died, super easy. Bananas? Cut them back, mulch the heck out of them, leave a foot of stem, foam rosebush covers.

  • josh_palm_crazy
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Your palms look great Kevin! You have done a wonderful job of keeping your palms alive and thriving.

    Jay

  • serj_ukraine
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Arctictropical, thank you for posting photo of pindo palm! Could you tell me, how many fronds has butia palm per year? I would like to know the growth rate of pindo palm.

  • arctictropical
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Serj, I'm not sure how many fronds pop out on the Butia. I haven't payed too much attention. I believe about 2 or 3 at most. They don't grow very fast. Neither do the Mediterranean fan palms. My Med. palms are twice the age of the Trachy, but my Trachy is twice the height of the Med. palms. I wish I had as many palms as you do (and your warmer weather).

    Kevin

  • serj_ukraine
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Kevin, in my view you are living in the very nice and beautiful place! I hope you will have many palms also!

  • mike-jaramillo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    awsome stuff and thanx for sharing the protection method there is really no other way thats 100% fool proof except your way.

  • mnpalms
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "If you don't mind, will you say where you are getting the larger sized basjoos and needle palm from? I don't think our basjoo is coming back this spring, it isn't looking good."

    dln949- Go to collectorpalms dot com. Click on availibility. See where the larger needle palm is listed as sold out. Email him through his contact address. I got a message from him last night, he said he has a few more, but they will be gone quick. You might get lucky like I did. I hope he gives you the price I got, you will be amazed with the tree. ($60 including shipping for a BIG one with suckers) Mention I told you what I paid, hopefully that will get him to honor what he had it listed for before putting "sold out" on there.

    The basjoos I got are really nice for the money as well. All of them are over 2 feet tall. To be safe, I'm waiting one more week before planting them in my yard. We have been having 70s and 80s here, but there is still a chance of low 40s at night the next few nights.

    And for future reference, can anyone here tell me how I can post pictures right here in a post? Without having to link to somewhere else. I'm used to how other forums work, where you can just upload a re-sized picture right from my computer and it goes into the post. Like how arctictropical does it?

  • arctictropical
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So much for thinking Spring was here. It snowed today and really bent the fronds down on the Trachy. I was in Fruita, Colorado mountain biking in the warm sunshine while it was snowing up in northern Utah. My son sent me a picture of the sad looking palm on my cell phone. Luckily by the time I got home this evening the snow had melted. I've seen snow here the day after memorial day, and frost every month of the year, so you can imagine how bizarre it is for people to see the palms growing here.

    Kevin

  • topher2006
    14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Your palms look great as always !

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